The results of the 2022 Futurebrand Index have come out. Perhaps not surprisingly, they show that sustainability has become a key driver of innovation and that climate change is now seen as the biggest threat to business success. Since the start of the pandemic three years ago, PwC’s annual perception study of the top 100 companies has shown a number of changes. The top five companies are mostly B2B brands, especially those in the East, that are focusing on innovation around green energy and sustainable solutions.
With a sample of over 3,000 professionals from around the world, the study reorders PwC’s Global Top 100 Companies based on perception strength rather than financial strength. It does this by using 18 indicators that show the most important signs of success. The study was conducted between Monday, June 20, and Monday, July 4. It was done with the help of FutureBrand’s global research partner, QRi Consulting.
Since the last study, there have been a lot of changes in the top five. NextEra Energy is the only company from last year that is still in the top five, and it is now in first place. NextEra, a clean energy giant, comes in second on this year’s index, followed by Reliance Industries, an Indian conglomerate, and CATL, an electric battery maker.
Surprisingly, Meta’s reputation has also gone up a lot since it changed its name in late 2021. It moved up 44 spots, from #49 to #5, and into the top five. Also back on the list for the first time since 2018 is Australia’s Commonwealth Bank. At the same time, Apple has dropped out of the top five for the first time since FutureBrand began its research. It is now in seventh place.
Compared to last year, there have been a number of changes in the opposite direction. As predicted in the 2021 report, Walmart (#39) and McDonald’s (#40) have moved back up the list, while Amazon (#31) and LVMH (#47) have both gone down.
This year’s index gave FutureBrand five important things to think about:
- Building a more optimistic and resilient future: This year’s FutureBrand Index shows that in a world of uncertainty, people look to those who are building a clear and confident future. Not only do all of the Top 5 Risers do well on the resilience scale, but they also do better than average on the mission and innovation scales.
2. come first: People are getting more attention, and all organizations seem to be “moving forward” because of what they do to improve “people’s well-being.” A company that cares about people and makes their lives better is also a big draw for talented people.
3. ESG goes mainstream: ESG is now a big part of what we all know and understand. As the public learns more about what companies are doing to help the environment, society, and governance (ESG), our findings show that it’s one thing to talk about it and another to do what you say.
4. Purpose in practice: Our professional respondents are saying now more than ever that it’s not enough for a company to say it has a meaningful purpose and will act; it must also be seen to keep its promises, be fair and honest, help the community, and make a positive difference in society. Experience has never been more important in this world, where brands that are seen as “moving ahead” all do well in this real-world area.
5. Branding for businesses has never been more fun. Like last year’s FutureBrand Index, this year’s Top Five is mostly made up of “behind-the-scenes” companies like NextEra Energy, Reliance Industries, CATL, and Tata Consultancy Services. These players are at the forefront of future innovation. They are solving the world’s biggest problems by making platforms that keep and improve human life.
CEO OF FutureBrand Index
Rich Curtis, CEO of Futurebrand Australia, said this about what the 202 FutureBrand Index means for businesses and brands: “With all the instability and uncertainty in the world, it’s never been more important to study and understand what it takes to change brands so businesses can grow. This latest edition of the FutureBrand Index shows how people think the best brands are “moving ahead” because they care about people’s well-being and inspire positive change. So, it’s not a coincidence that these brands are solving some of the biggest problems in the world.
“What’s more, we’re seeing B2B brands continue their upward trend and once again lead the way. Eight of the Top Ten brands in this year’s Index are B2B brands that people think are at the forefront of innovations that will shape our future. BHP is a good example of an Australian B2B brand that has a clear focus on the future and a strong vision. These qualities will make BHP very resilient if and when our local economy goes into a recession. This is one of the most important benefits of building a strong brand. So, it’s reassuring to see Commonwealth Bank’s market capitalization grow so that it can get back into PwC’s list of the top 100 companies. This financial growth is a sign that people’s perceptions of its brand are getting stronger.
Every year, our research tells us that brands are made for a reason, but that the everyday experience is what defines them. By making that connection stronger, your brand gives your business a measurable competitive edge, so more people will want to work for or buy from you.
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